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Author Topic: jgarzik goes berzerk in #bitcoin-dev, wtf?  (Read 16160 times)
Technomage
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November 30, 2012, 12:01:20 PM
 #1

I have to take this case to the jury which is the bitcointalk community. One of my friends, Jeremias, who is the developer of LocalBitcoins, Easywallet and AcceptBit, just got kickbanned from #bitcoin-dev for ridiculous reasons.

Basically he promoted the new epic Bitcoin/Iran article in the channel, which is very interesting and #1 in Bitcoin-Reddit. What happened was that jgarzik banned Jeremias because of "encouraging illegal activity", WTF? Bitcoin is not illegal in Iran or anywhere else either, as far as I know.

Enough talk, I have the IRC log here and you can make your own conclusions. I'd understand the reaction if #bitcoin-dev is limited to development talk but it doesn't seem like that was the main reason for the ban. Personally jgarzik lost all some respect from me.

http://pastebin.com/taMsQLBN

My updated view on the topic: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=128532.msg1372057#msg1372057

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November 30, 2012, 12:11:12 PM
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Where I live there are 3 subjects you better not discuss if you want to avoid having someone mad at you: religion, politics and football.
You know what I mean Wink

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November 30, 2012, 12:15:20 PM
 #3

The last straw for jgarzik was when jeremias mentioned translating Bitcoin-Qt to Farsi. Nice. That is actually related to development and not off topic in any way. I can't believe this.

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November 30, 2012, 12:16:27 PM
 #4

jgarzik is quite right. The SHA-256 algorithm is property of the US and export regulations for SHA-256 expressively forbid exporting the algorithm or products based on the algorithm to Iran.

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November 30, 2012, 12:17:11 PM
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I understand the point: breaking the Iranian trade sanctions is illegal in a statutory sense.

But it's not illegal ethically. If anything, the law as it exists is the ethical illegality. So I'm with the OP on this one, but Bitcoin's a broad church. Remember, non-political money means you have to be tolerant of everyone's politics, even, to some extent, the intolerant
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November 30, 2012, 12:18:18 PM
 #6

Bitcoin can't belong to someone. IRC log shows that jgarzik thinks that Bitcoin is his own toy. If I were jgarzik I would apologize and cancel the ban. It's obvious that Jeremias was banned NOT for offtopic.
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November 30, 2012, 12:20:02 PM
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it's not illegal ethically
This is funny
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November 30, 2012, 12:28:31 PM
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FATF member countries have started applying stronger economic sanctions against the Iranian government and Iranian financial institutions.  The US, the UK and the EU have all recently issued new directives regarding financial activity with Iran.  I suspect that Jeff is concerned about Bitcoin being promoted as a way to bypass those sanctions, which could lead to it being directly targeted by AML/CTF laws in those jurisdictions.

http://www.knowyourcountry.com/iran1111.html

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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November 30, 2012, 12:32:35 PM
 #9

ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOGARZIK!

We all must obbey USA laws and THE foundation


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November 30, 2012, 12:47:27 PM
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jgarzik is quite right. The SHA-256 algorithm is property of the US and export regulations for SHA-256 expressively forbid exporting the algorithm or products based on the algorithm to Iran.
jgarzik is not quite right, if i understand the issue right.   Cheesy Seems to me that it's also expressively forbidden for US citizens to create and distribute currencies, which doesn't stop jgarzik from using or developing Bitcoin...

Makes me wonder whether the Teodesian guy is really right...

In fact, doesn't the US Constitution only allow the use of Au/Ag as money, and that only the US gov can issue that also? Maybe even the US governement is in violation of its own laws?  Cheesy

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November 30, 2012, 12:54:24 PM
 #11

jgarzik should come in here and make it absolutely clear that he did that because his well-being and wealth was/is threatened by a gang of violent thugs called the U.S. Government forcing him to do so otherwise I'm not sure how I feel about such exclusionary moves. Unless there's something that I'm missing Bitcoin is open source therefor open to anyone to do anything with the code, including translating it into farsi.

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November 30, 2012, 12:56:36 PM
 #12

jgarzik is quite right. The SHA-256 algorithm is property of the US and export regulations for SHA-256 expressively forbid exporting the algorithm or products based on the algorithm to Iran.

Yeah?  You better take the bitcoin.org page down immediately then.  Also Wikipedia.
Anybody who promotes those sites should also be banned.  
    
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November 30, 2012, 12:57:05 PM
 #13

jgarzik is quite right. The SHA-256 algorithm is property of the US and export regulations for SHA-256 expressively forbid exporting the algorithm or products based on the algorithm to Iran.

I'm not sure anyone is trying to export SHA-256. Coins themselves sure as hell do not contain, nor represent any algorithm. Maybe it's illegal to allow Iranians to download the Bitcoin client (which I'm sure sourceforge is complying), but I'm not so sure using Bitcoin would itself be forbidden for Iranians.

ETA: If this is in fact the case though, we should fork Bitcoin and switch to a free algorithm before it's too late.

Besides, why the hell are we to accept getting bossed around by the USA all the time? USA is imposing all kinds of regulations internationally. Do you know that banks who haven't signed an agreement with the USA can't do business with the banks who did (i.e. all of them)? If a bank does business with an American national, or "a resident", who may even be living in a different country, without taxing them on behalf of USA and turning over the money itself, it is subject to be fined the same amount. Do you really think Bitcoin can survive within the US legal system?

Okay. Now I am supposed to view life from the perspective of the United States. If they deem something illegal, then it is. Talk about oppression.

Maybe Jeff had to react that way to protect the foundation legally. If, so, this shows that a foundation wasn't a good idea to begin with. Maybe they should clarify in writing that #bitcoin-dev belongs to the foundation, which belongs to the USA.

ETA: I'm failing to shut up about this... Now, if I talk about Bitcoin to my friends in Iran, I'm encouraging illegal activity in the eyes of #bitcoin-dev? My brain is about to explode. What a joke...
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November 30, 2012, 12:58:29 PM
 #14

Seems to me that it's also expressively forbidden for US citizens to create and distribute currencies?

Actually no. You can create currency all you like. Now how you use that currency, that is the tricky part where you can be shut down.

egold for example died, because the company directors actively facilitated money laundering. Killing the company as the sole issuer thus killed the currency.

Liberty Dollars was killed because the issuer behaved in a way that was clearly intended to defraud customers (designing the Liberty Dollar to look like US Dollars and encouraging businesses to give change to USD customers in Liberty Dollars without informing the customer). Stopping the issuer stopped the currency.





 

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November 30, 2012, 01:03:25 PM
 #15

Is suggesting the translation of bitcoin-qt to farsi "encouraging illegal activity"?

The smuggling of bitcoin software into Iran would be different, but that's not what was suggested here.

There are hundreds of thousands of Iranian diaspora in the US and Europe.

I think jgarzik should calmly explain his position on this. I'd certainly be interested in hearing his line of reasoning.

Also, it would be nice if you explain what kind of "pressure" you're doing. You represent the rest of the bitcoiners here, so it's nice to know how bob182 is acting on our behalf.

Wikileaks is the enemy of major world powers right now, with many influential elites feeling that Assange committed an act of war against the United States, or, at a minimum, irrevocably disrupted world affairs.  This is not some mailing list discussion or theoretical exercise; there are very real, very powerful organizations actively targetting wikileaks' network infrastructure, organizational infrastructure, and most importantly, financial infrastructure.

It is extraordinarily unwise to make bitcoin such a highly visible target, at such an early stage in this project.  There could be a lot of "collateral damage" in the bitcoin community while you make your principled stand.

Use by Wikileaks hasn't killed Bitcoin yet, that doesn't mean the risk wasn't/isn't there.

What if Bitcoin had been released 11 years ago, and the taliban
(or some other organization which need not be named here)
had instructed their people to use Bitcoin at all times?

That would be an Outside Context Problem for Bitcoin.
 



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November 30, 2012, 01:09:30 PM
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He could be unbanned very fast, or is it the end of the world? He only got kicked from the chan for being an ignorant idiot. To me #bitcoin-dev is somewhat of an official chan and Iran is a serious subject. The rest is kindergarden drama.

But you know what's happening:


(But considering a translation into farsi dangerous or illegal, is also questionable)
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November 30, 2012, 01:12:55 PM
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(But considering a translation into farsi dangerous or illegal, is also questionable)

More like idiotic.

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November 30, 2012, 01:13:47 PM
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Besides, why the hell are we to accept getting bossed around by the USA all the time? USA is imposing all kinds of regulations internationally.

It's their algorithm. US government institutions (NIST and NSA) invented it and own it. It is not common property though it is prevalent enough in the western world that one might think so. I'm pretty sure the US can regulate what people can do with it's own property.

Take a look at the TOS of pretty much any piece of software employing any US proprietary cryptographic algorithms and you will find an item excluding usage rights of the software for citizens of certain countries like Cuba and Iran. I know no one reads these things, but it's in there.

I DO concur that using a state owned cryptographic algorithm is pretty much counter to everything some consider Bitcoin to stand for and could thus be seen as a flaw in the concept.

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November 30, 2012, 01:16:53 PM
 #19

It's not the first time this state-sucker Garzik does something pathetic like this. Who remember his bashing of Silk Road in a TV interview? I found it so disappointing, listening to those words coming from a core dev, that I even created a topic at the time: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=13706.0

And here we go again. The ban was silly. Garzik coward behavior is ridiculous.

If there's any good in Bitcoin, it's its potential to allow people to circumvent governments. If you don't think people should be allowed to circumvent governments at all, then you have nothing to do with Bitcoin. The built-in monetary policy is by itself a means to circumvent government centrally imposed monetary policy. And that's just one of the good things Bitcoin enables. Allowing Iranians to bypass foreign sanctions is a perfect, "text-book" use case for Bitcoin. Even WordPress understands it, but one of the core developers apparently doesn't.

Once more, Garzik is frightened. At the CBS interview, he made some ridiculous defamation. Here, he censors a reputable bitcoiner from an IRC channel. Nothing super serious so far, but up to what will his fear take him?

I obviously must acknowledge Garzik great contributions to bitcoin code. He's done for Bitcoin incomparably more than I, that's undeniable. But morally speaking, his a frightened government sucker. I hope this doesn't represent a problem one day for bitcoin development.

@Garzik; if you are afraid of your government, I sincerely accept and respect you in that. But please don't put yourself in the way of those who wish to use Bitcoin for its true purpose: circumventing governments!
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November 30, 2012, 01:18:08 PM
 #20

Personally jgarzik lost all respect from me.

http://pastebin.com/taMsQLBN

I read the pastebin. You should not lose the respect for a man over something like this.

I don't think jgarzik went beserk. He kicked a couple of users off the channel, no big deal.

Jgarzik and Satoshi have good points. If you want to catch an elephant, you don't start by poking forks into it's eye.
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